Alumni Q and A Interview with Peter Rochelle
CHRIS MARTIN | January 19, 2017
Q: Tell us about your ministry and family.
A: I have been married to my wife, Kim, for 18 years. We were neighbors for almost 30 years in Raleigh, and actually grew up across the street from each other. We have two girls, Jamie, is 15, and Kristen, is 13.
I serve at Church on the Rock. We planted the church in March of 1999 and I have pastored the church for 10 years.
Q: Why Southeastern?
A: It was definitely God’s sovereign will for me to be at Southeastern. I looked at a couple of other schools on the West and East coasts where some of my friends attended. A friend and I went to a couple of classes at Southeastern, and it felt like it was where God wanted me to go. After some prayer, the Lord made it clear to me in a lot of different ways that I was supposed to go to Southeastern.
Q: What was your most influential moment at Southeastern?
A: A number of key moments come to mind, but the one that I remember most is my first chapel at Southeastern. I came to Southeastern in 1992, the same time as Dr. Paige Patterson, I just remember the energy and the weight of that first chapel service. The importance of what we were all doing here at Southeastern hit me in that first chapel service and I knew that it was a big deal.
Q: What is the greatest joy that you have as a pastor?
A: The greatest joy is the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. The second one, close behind it, is shepherding God’s people. I left Southeastern as a young man and thought that being a pastor was just preaching and teaching God’s Word. I’m sure the professors at Southeastern told us it was much more than that, but when we planted the church I shepherded people and used the gifts God has given me in that area. I find a lot of joy walking with people through difficult circumstances.
Q: What challenges do you face as a pastor?
A: One of the biggest challenges is not getting sidetracked from what God has called us to do. Our church has been going for about 14 years, and we have about 100 adult members and around 50 children. It’s important to not get discouraged or sidetracked, focusing on what other churches are doing. We need to preach the Gospel and let the Lord worry about the results.
Q: What advice do you have for current and future pastors?
A: My number one piece of advice is to be faithful. Be faithful to what God has called you to do. Be faithful to the Word of God. Be faithful to your family.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: I enjoy riding Harley Davidson motorcycles, and I love playing basketball.
Q: What was your favorite class or professor at Southeastern?
A: My favorite class was probably Christian ethics with Dr. Heimbach. He is a brilliant ethicist and teaches in a way that you can take the biblical content and apply it to evangelism, Sunday school class or other practical situations.
Q: What is one book that everyone should read?
A: “Radical” by David Platt. The book gave me energy and passion as it relates to the gospel and caring for the world. When Platt talks about unreached people groups and the need to reach the entire world, it really hit me.
Q: What has God been teaching you lately?
A: The main thing the Lord has been teaching me is the need to live out the gospel in every area of my life. I’ve been going through the book of Acts in my personal devotion time. It is clear in Acts how central the gospel is to Paul and everything he did in his life and ministry.
Q: Southeastern is known as a Great Commission seminary, how did Southeastern prepare you to be a Great Commission pastor?
A: When I came to Southeastern, I was familiar with the Great Commission, but when I arrived to Southeastern, I realized that there were people actually doing this. God used Southeastern to call me to be a part of the Great Commission in my role as pastor.